Cato Institute

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Cato Institute
President:Peter Goettler
Vice-president:David Boaz
Year created:1977
The Cato Institute is 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization located in Washington D.C. According to, "The Cato Institute is a public policy research organization – a think tank – dedicated to the principles of individual liberty, limited government, free markets and peace. Its scholars and analysts conduct independent, nonpartisan research on a wide range of policy issues."[1]

The Cato Institute ranked eighth on the "2014 Global Go To Think Tank Index" published by the Lauder Institute at the University of Pennsylvania. The index provides an analysis of the "world’s preeminent think tanks."[2]


"David Boaz discusses the Cato Institute's Mission Statement."

The Cato Institute's mission "is to originate, disseminate, and increase understanding of public policies based on the principles of individual liberty, limited government, free markets, and peace. [Its] vision is to create free, open, and civil societies founded on libertarian principles."[3]


The Cato Institute was founded in San Francisco, California in 1997 by Ed Crane and Charles G. Koch. In 1982, the Cato Institute moved to Washington D.C.[4] According to, "Cato owes its name to Cato’s Letters, a series of essays published in 18th- century England that presented a vision of society free from excessive government power. Those essays inspired the architects of the American Revolution. And the simple, timeless principles of that revolution — individual liberty, limited government, and free markets – turn out to be even more powerful in today’s world of global markets and unprecedented access to information than Jefferson or Madison could have imagined. Social and economic freedom is not just the best policy for a free people, it is the indispensable framework for the future."[1]


  • Peter Goettler, President and CEO
  • Edward H. Crane, Founder and President Emeritus
  • David Boaz, Executive Vice President
  • Gene Healy, Vice President
  • John Samples, Vice President and Publisher

Board of directors

  • John A. Allison, Former President & CEO, Cato Institute; Retired Chairman & CEO, BB&T
  • K. Tucker Andersen, Director, Above All Advisors
  • Carl Barney, Chairman, Center for Excellence in Higher Education
  • Baron Bond, Executive Vice President, The Foundation Group LLC
  • Richard J. Dennis, President, Dennis Trading Group
  • Peter N. Goettler, President & CEO, Cato Institute; former Managing Director, Barclays Capital
  • Ethelmae C. Humphreys, Chairman, Tamko Roofing Products, Inc.
  • James M. Kilts, Partner, Centerview Capital Holdings; former CEO, The Gillette Company
  • David H. Koch, Executive Vice President, Koch Industries, Inc.
  • James M. Lapeyre, Jr., President, Laitram, LLC
  • Robert A. Levy, Chairman, Cato Institute
  • John C. Malone, Chairman, Liberty Media Corporation
  • Preston Marshall, President/CEO, Rusk Capital Management
  • Nancy M. Pfotenhauer, President and CEO, MediaSpeak Strategies
  • Lewis E. Randall, Former Director, E*Trade Financial
  • Howard S. Rich, Chairman, U.S.Term Limits
  • Donald G. Smith, President, Donald Smith & Co., Inc.
  • Nestor R. Weigand, Jr., Chairman and CEO, JP Weigand & Sons, Inc.
  • Jeffrey S. Yass, Managing Director, Susquehanna International Group, LLP
  • Fred Young, Former Owner, Young Radiator Company


The Cato Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational organization. "In order to maintain its independence, the Cato Institute accepts no government funding. Cato receives approximately 80 percent of its funding through tax-deductible contributions from individuals, with the remainder of its support coming from foundations, corporations, and the sale of books and publications," according to[1] The following is a breakdown of the Cato Institute's Fiscal Year 2014 Operating Revenue and Expenses:

Policy outlook

The Cato Institute is a nonpartisan organization, with a focus on "libertarian scholarship and policies." It is not affiliated with the Libertarian Party. According to, "The Jeffersonian philosophy that animates Cato's work has increasingly come to be called "libertarianism" or "market liberalism." It combines an appreciation for entrepreneurship, the market process, and lower taxes with strict respect for civil liberties and skepticism about the benefits of both the welfare state and foreign military adventurism. This vision brings the wisdom of the American Founders to bear on the problems of today. As did the Founders, it looks to the future with optimism and excitement, eager to discover what great things women and men will do in the coming century. Market liberals appreciate the complexity of a great society, recognizing that socialism and government planning are just too clumsy for the modern world. It is — or used to be — the conventional wisdom that a more complex society needs more government, but the truth is just the opposite. The simpler the society, the less damage government planning does. Planning is cumbersome in an agricultural society, costly in an industrial economy, and impossible in the information age. Today collectivism and planning are outmoded and backward, a drag on social progress. Libertarians have a cosmopolitan, inclusive vision for society. We applaud the progressive extension of the promises of the Declaration of Independence to more people, especially to women, African-Americans, religious minorities, and gay and lesbian people. Our greatest challenge today is to continue to extend the promise of political freedom and economic opportunity to those who are still denied it, in our own country and around the world."[5][3]


Scholars at the Cato Institute examine a wide range of issues, including:[3]

  • Education and Child Policy
  • Energy and Environment
  • Finance, Banking and Monetary Policy
  • Foreign Policy and National Security
  • Government and Politics
  • Health, Welfare and Entitlements
  • International Economics and Development
  • Law and Civil Liberties
  • Political Philosophy
  • Regulatory Studies
  • Tax and Budget Policy
  • Telecom, Internet and Information Policy
  • Trade and Immigration


The Cato Institute publishes the following periodicals:

Cato Institute scholars have published the following books:

Recent news

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See also

External links